More previews from the Kelly Tyrannosaur Project.

Kelly TrixFBAs we can see here… not everything tyrannosaur has to be Tyrannosaurus! This classic scene has been depicted many times…And it should have been an awesome one to watch. Triceratops was once depicted as a mud wrestler by Dr. Bob Bakker.

Mike Kelly has been painstakingly putting together a treaty about Tyrannosaurus that wants to embrace everything: from local environments, to the prey, to the extant contemporary fauna and to the different approaches to recreate the image of the über predator… feathers and no feathers,,,. Obviously after my “conversion” through the discovery of  Yutyrannus, there was no way I could go back to do Tyrannosaurus the way I had done all my life. Parsimony reigns in Palaeontology. We will need now hard evidence to see T. rex naked the way it used too be, even if for some  the acceptance of image transition has been and continues to be very hard. And that has included me and Mike himself… But once you make your mind about the new image and understand why,  the only question for the artist from then on is to make the image believable!  I’m really looking forward to see Mike Kelly’s book finished and published. It’s going to be a real achievement at every possible level. Tyr  rowB

Obviously the one showing the Keratin Revolution was not only T. rex… and Triceratops had to have his whole new make-up too! This time blending the hard evidence of hits skin,  I have used a B&W stripped  pattern that I have used before and curiously makes it blend quite well with the surroundings . Keep plugged in for more on the Keratin Revolution in the not so far future!

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Working on another Mexican enigma…

Parras BLOGDuring one of my visits to vaults of the Museo de Geología, one of the fossils that impressed me most was this (still unnamed) hadrosaur muzzle and beak.  Still partly encased in the stone matrix, it gave me a truly realistic image of an almost perfectly preserved, recently deceased animal. Wish I had a cast!ParrasB Muzzle

It is not until now (after my consultations with René Hernández and Angel Ramírez that I decided to have a go to it and rehearse some new colour patterns… I know some people will find the patterns over the top, but I still find the somewhat believable. After all a hippopotamus  has bright pink zones of its body… and most definitively doesn’t have colours vision (as I asume all dinosaurs had!…)

This hadrosaur has been located in Parras, Coahuila and is similar to Edmontosaurus, and probably  7.6 meters long.. The rest of the skeleton has not been found. Still it is a beauty and has a lot of character!

More for Parras still to come… Parras, Coahuila is also known as the Mexican Dinosaur Eden!

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Cretaceous México: Magnapaulia.

Mexico! BMore than a  decade ago I was at the entrails of  the Instituto de Geologia Museum in Mexico City and René Hernández was laying on my lap an enormous and very heavy femur head of a gigantic hadrosaur. The  size was so impressive that it could have been mistaken for an Apatosaurus! But no, it was yet another gigantic lambeosaur found by René’s team in the north of Mexico, land of  army clashes with the cartel… even in those days. Scientists trying to excavate in Saltillo or Coahuila have to deal with the terrible scourge of that horrifying “war on drugs” that has been  Mexico’s disease for so many years, to do their work.

Nevertheless… the search has continued unabated… I had to pay tribute to the Mexican palaeontological teams efforts and  some of those immense lambosaurine hadrosaurs from Mexico… this time in the shape of of a herd of Magnapaulia being chased by some Albertosaurus … I have used a familiar scenario from another old project that never quite congealed in my eyes… so I modified the scenario and finished it thanks to the help (again) of Angel Ramírez (that was very specific about the kind of flowery, Magnolia semi tropical vegetation) and René Hernández himself, I have come to a final product that I am more or less satisfied with. There’s always room for improvement!

Note the crest of Magnapaulia (still mostly hypothetical, but based on the fragmentary remains we have) and the very tall hip spines, so characteristic of all these Mexican hadrosaurs. There are more murals to come in the next weeks…

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Cretaceous Mexico… the saga continues!


The mid-sized, 6 meter long hadrosaur Velafrons  attacked by a group of indeterminate dromeosaurs … Velafrons is one of the most complete lamboeosaurine hadrosaurs at the level of fossil remains in Mexico. As stated in the previous post, even if fragmentary the Mexican paleo fauna is rather interesting. Velafrons shared its environment with many other gregarious dinosaurs including Kritosaurus and Coahuilaceratops.

I owe Angel Ramírez a good deal in recreating this scene. It is thanks to him that Velafrons‘ ecosystem is more precise: a coastal environment  with plants like  Strelitzia or Phytolaca… I like palaeontologists that are a pain regarding scientific details! Lots of corrections and negotiations to get to the result  you are seeing here…! And by the way… I’m leaving Magnapaulia, Coahuilaceratops, Kritosaurus, Labocania  and some ornithomimids for the next instalments.

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Cretaceous Mexico…here we go!

Huehue MOD BlogThe Santonian of Michoacán, México, 83 million years ago… A six meter long proto-hadrosaur Huehuecanauhtlus tiquichensis is harassed by a gang of, still unnamed, feral Tanycolagreus-like theropods. What an opportunity to get to basics with some of the wonderful and overlooked prehistoric Mexican fauna!  Note the overly tall hip and tail spines emphasised  in Angel Ramírez‘s reconstructive labour… an apparent, puzzling characteristic of most Mexican primitive and advanced  hadrosaurs.  Tanycalogreus

The theropods are speculative. They are mostly two or three meter long . I started trying the scene with some dromeosaurs, but the evidence for them is scant in this location… in fact, I  have an alternative  version of this artwork with a couple of dromeosaurs attacking the Huehuecanauhtlus (“Old Duck” in Nahuatl)!  Most of what you see here is based on the fragmentary material together with all the available evidence, including volcanic landscape and arid terrain with fallen branches and dead tree trunks. I have followed  the guidance of René Hernández and Angel Alejandro Ramírez, whose help has been priceless… after all they are the source! They are still digging out more evidence and  new material is constantly coming to light. The task now is to isolate species and name them.  Many have been already… and the next effort will be about the gigantic lambeosaurs and  sundry hadrosaurs, one of which tails was prepared by René himself! I have recently posted pictures of René Hernández uncovering and preserving a massive hadrosaur tail from Saltillo.

It;s been long overdue that I started  a pictorial saga of the Mexican dinosaurs… and now I have the opportunity!

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Dinosaur Skin and Survival… the new coming project.

Tarbosaurus and Talarurus… where ends meet in  the  new exhibition. In association with Gondwana Studios… the next Dinosaur rEvolution will be coming from as far as Tasmania! After…

Source: Dinosaur Skin and Survival… the new coming project.

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Dinosaur Skin and Survival… the new coming project.

Tarbo TalarurusF copy Tarbosaurus and Talarurus… the where ends meet in  the  new exhibition.

In association with Gondwana Studios… the next Dinosaur rEvolution will be coming from as far as Tasmania!

After the Hatching The Past success in Europe (thousands continue to visit the Horniman Museum… and our next stop might be Brussels, still to be confirmed!) we are working hard on our next project… an ambitious display of survival strategies colliding  in the Mesozoic.

From Sinosauropteryx, Caudipteryx, Nothronychus and Deinonychus to Heterodontosaurus, Kosmoceratops and Saichania…Quills, spikes and horns  versus feathers, teeth and claws… a lethal combination that will feature well researched  and mounted casts (some of them massive… some of them incredibly small… yes, even the famous quilled psittacosaur IS going to be there in all its glory!) all accompanied by my murals . Everything will be tied up with a very specific and illuminating narrative, incorporating  all the updated material and information we could lay our hands on. This is an exhibition with a clear purpose and scope.Maquette 1 copy

Hopefully some of the murals will be life-size to maximise  impact on our audience, and we will try to mix styles to give it a varied look.

I’m currently updating some old artwork and creating new, never seen protagonists  Working on murals is giving me  freedom to expand  creativity and at the same time concentrate in the detail… painting skin and feathers with a computer is an extremely laborious task… old habits take a long time to change: sometimes I even blow to the screen or swipe it with the side of my hand!

I thank Peter Norton for his support, enthusiasm and hard work that has allowed all this to happen. He is the master builder!  Imagine this scene with  Velociraptor and Avimimus  fleshed out in a life-size mural… I will show a further preview soon!DSC06017 copy

We have already booked some venues in the far  South East  of the planet and I’m sure at the end it will be going around the rest of the world. Let’s keep fingers crossed… and watch this space for further information!Booklet_cover-1 copy

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Tiny Titans non-stop… now at the Philip Currie Dinosaur Museum


20160225_103232_resizedIt is not only  the Holtz/Rey “Dinosaurs The Most Complete Up-To-Date  Encyclopedia For Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages…” that is currently available at the illustrious  Philip Currie Dinosaur Museum… the museum is also host to yet another  version of the StoneCo’s Hatching the Past saga, “TINY TITANS”…   and as you can see from the pictures, not so tiny this time! As in all the US displays, they take advantage of some of the big murals that, unfortunately,  are not available in the European version (wish we had them here, but space is scarce)… Thanks to Nick and Alanna for the pictures.20160226_102337_resized

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